FOCUS: Los Angeles is a curated section of the fair highlighting galleries and projects from Los Angeles, California.

Art Toronto is excited to announce the FOCUS project for the 18th edition of Canada’s fair for modern and contemporary art with a west coast focus on Los Angeles. In recent years, Los Angeles has redefined itself as a major centre for artistic production and curatorial vision. What is it precisely about LA, its history, values and physicality that draws artists, curators and gallerists to it today? In addition to the galleries that have been selected to be part of this section, Independent Curator Santiago Vernetti will organize a central group exhibition entitled And The Sky is Grey, bringing together works by LA's most exciting practitioners to help introduce new audiences in order to unpack and highlight contemporary cultural practices in the city and what compels people to it.

See all 2017 Participating Galleries

Meet the Curator: Santiago Vernetti

Santiago Vernetti is an independent curator and writer based in Los Angeles. Some of his most recent group exhibitions include Top Five Buddy Cop Films at Steve Turner, Thus Spake the Fungus at Arturo Bandini, and Aria Dean, Merideth Hillbrand, Hannah Boone at Club Pro. His writings have been featured in FOUNDATIONS Magazine, LXAQ, Baumtest and his essays have been included in a variety of artist books and catalogues including Transmorphing Utopia, a monograph on the work of Paul W Waddell. He was previously at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and is currently at work on a group exhibition of site-responsive works for the Angels Gate Cultural Center with co-curator Jeanne Dreskin.

FOCUS: LA Artist Project Series: And The Sky is Grey

The FOCUS: LA Artist Project Series, curated by Santiago Vernetti, will present a number of projects by LA artists placed throughout the fairgrounds. These will include in-situ installations, the latest in genre bending virtual reality work by LA new media artists, an interactive art bar, and a microcinema showcasing some of LA’s most experimental and engaging moving image art practices. This central group exhibition entitled And The Sky is Grey, will feature works by Christopher Coy, Karen Lofgren, Grant Levy-Lucero, Christopher Richmond, Nicolas Grenier, Jake Longstreth and other artists whose practices have been shaped by the city's complex cultural history and landscape. Additionally, a number of projects by Los Angeles based artists will be placed throughout the common areas of the fairgrounds including the FLOAT Museum, a future-facing virtual institution from Kate Parsons, Ben Vance, and Daniel Lisi, an art bar and installation by Adam Stamp, recent sculptures by Josh Callaghan, a pop-up microcinema showcasing some of Los Angeles’ most experimental and engaging moving image art practices, and more.

FOCUS: LA Participating Galleries

Art Toronto is excited to welcome the following leading galleries representing Los Angeles:

Club Pro Los Angeles
Anat Ebgi
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
ltd los angeles
Moskowitz Bayse
Night Gallery
Royale Projects: Contemporary Art

FOCUS: LA Talk: Beyond the Hype

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 2:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: Art Toronto stage

Los Angeles has undoubtedly become an exciting epicenter for artists, art schools, museums and galleries. But we’ve also begun to see backlash to all the growth, whether anti-gallery protests in Boyle Heights or concerns about mega-collectors opening their own museums. How big is too big? Can the city sustain all the new galleries and museums in town? And which trendy Los Angeles art neighborhoods do experts say are fading fast, versus here to stay?

In a panel moderated by journalist Jori Finkel (The New York Times and The Art Newspaper), curator Santi Vernetti, gallerist Luis de Jesus and artist Kim Schoen will discuss the fast-changing landscape of the LA art scene.

FOCUS: LA Comedy Performance: Aesthetical Relations

Presented by: FOCUS: Los Angeles
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Art Toronto Stage

Aesthetical Relations is an itinerant and irregular live 'comedy talk show experience' produced and hosted by LA-based art writer and comedian Christina Catherine Martinez. Loosely modeled on the late-night talk show format, Aesthetical Relations features comedians, musicians, and performance artists doing unclassifiable feats of entertainment followed by a brief heart-to-heart with the magnanimous emcee, Miss Martinez.

Performers are invited to play with the interview format however they choose—either sincerely or 'in character' as an extension of their performance. For the latest show at the Lyric Hyperion Theater, comedian Josh Fadem chose to go directly into the interview, improvising a surreal, non-sequitur performance with Martinez finally interrupted by a slapstick delivery of a birthday cake (previously arranged by the host without Fadem's knowledge).